Tempered by power, BJP’s shift away from 1989 Palampur Resolution on temple rows

With the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque and Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah mosque back in the spotlight, the BJP’s Palampur decision has also returned to the political discourse. The ruling party appears to have shifted away from its position on temple and mosque disputes as stated in the political resolution adopted at its National Executive Meeting held from 9-11 June 1989, at the hill station of Himachal Pradesh.

With this decision, the BJP – described by its veteran leader L. K. Advani as the “divine instrument of choice” to end the country’s problems – decided to participate in the Ram Janmabhumi movement, which until then had been led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad movement. (VHP). The Palampur Declaration is considered the most active form of religiosity among the BJP political documents, and with it Hindutva was officially added to the party’s creed. The party also rejected court orders that did not support its claims about the location of the Ramjanmaphomi-Babri Mosque, saying, “The nature of this controversy cannot be settled by a court of law.”

The National Executive of the BJP also attacked the “cruel disinterest” of “the Congress party, in particular, and other political parties in general” due to “the sentiments of the vast majority in this country – Hindus”. added. “A court can adjudicate issues of property, trespass, possession, etc. But it cannot adjudicate whether Babar actually conquered Ayodhya, demolished a temple, and built a mosque in his place. Even when the court decides on such facts, it cannot suggest solutions to undo the sabotage. Date “.

The party document explains why it believes the courts cannot settle disputes relating to temples and mosques,” since 1886 British judge Colonel FEA Chamier, adjudicating a civil appeal regarding the site, noted in an impotent position: “It is very unfortunate that a mosque is built on sacred ground Notably by Hindus, but since it happened 356 years ago, it is too late to address the grievance…” (Dated March 18, 1886 Civil Appeal No. 27 of 1885, District Court, Faizabad). In this context, It should not be forgotten that the current turmoil itself stems from two court decisions, one of 1951 and one of 1986. On 3 March 1951, in Gopal Singh Visrad vs. Zohar Ahmed and others, the civil judge Faizabad observed, among other things: “…the Less from 1936 onwards, Muslims did not use the site as a mosque nor pray there, and Hindus were performing puja etc. at the disputed site.” Then, on February 1, 1986, District Judge Faizabad referred to this 1951 order and ordered that “over the For the past 35 years Hindus have had an unrestricted right to worship” in the place, done Putting the locks on the two gates in 1951 Reasons for law and order must be removed. (Civil Appeal No. 6/1986). “

The VHP’s Palampur decision helped escalate the Ram temple movement, and the agitation, which gained momentum with the support of the BJP, forced then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to allow the Chelaniyas ceremony on November 9, 1989. The BJP also embarked on a large-scale campaign for the construction of the Ram temple, which Completed as works started after a positive ruling of the Supreme Court on 9 November 2019.

For the current BJP leaders as well, the Palampur decision was a milestone. In his book, The Rise of the BJP: The Making of the World’s Largest Political Party, co-authored with Economist Ella Patnaik, Union Minister Bhubandar Yadav writes: “The Palampur session in 1989 was the turning point in the BJP’s demand Ram Mandir. It laid The basis for an agitational program to convey the BJP’s message from the cities to the remote villages of India.”

In the words of the Saffron Party leader, the new BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not want to engage in yet another temple campaign but is only relying on the judiciary to give a green signal to correct “historical errors” and bring back most of the Hindus. Holy places of worship.

While critics of the ruling party may describe it as a “change of attitude” amid expectations that the courts will adopt a positive approach to their cases, BJP leaders argue that the “context” has changed – from being an opposition party fighting against congressional domination, the BJP has become the dominant force in Indian politics. As an opposition party, the BJP can demand the government in power to settle differences and express its disapproval of court ruling or government decisions by citing public sentiments, some party staff said. They pointed out that as the ruling party, the BJP is now called upon to resolve sensitive disputes, and the government has to act in a certain way as it has different obligations and its actions inside and outside the country are being scrutinized. According to them, the government must act with integrity and through constitutional means even while advancing the Saffron Party agenda.

The Palampur Resolution was drafted when the BJP was at a critical juncture – Mandal’s policies that shook the dominance of the Congress soured relations between the BJP and the National Front (of socialist and some liberal regional parties), which came together entirely on an anti-congress agenda. Their base was the ideological unit outside Congress.

But the growing concern of the upper class of Hindus encouraged the BJP leadership at the time to abandon its moderate line and adopt ways to unite Hindu voices. The leadership had to elicit political and religious activities such as Ram Rath Yatra and Ayodhya Kar Seva to take the party to greater electoral heights.

The party softened its hard-line Hindutva stance after the demolition of the Babri Mosque in 1992. The BJP, led by Advani, attempted to re-adopt hard-line Hindutva after the BJP-led NDA lost power in the center in 2004. In Ranchi in November of That year, Advani made an unsuccessful attempt to bring the party back to the Hindutva line but the mood of the nation had changed by then. This was reflected in a stronger return of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2009.

Leave a Comment